Imagine leaving your home and family at age 13 to move by yourself to a country where you don't speak the language or know anyone.
"I was devastated," Pimprae Hiranprueck told Slate magazine's David Rosenberg of when her parents sent her from Thailand to attend school in the States.
But a few years later when she went to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Hiranprueck was able to turn her feelings into a beautifully self-reflexive project.
Her senior thesis, "Intersecting the Parallels," is a study on home, memories, and distance. Projecting images of family milestones that she missed, Hiranprueck placed herself in each image, interacting with the photograph and creating "substitute memories."
The images are heartbreaking and hopeful, capturing the conflict of belonging and displacement.
One photo entitled, “Nice to Meet You,” stood out to me. The loving gaze with which Hiranprueck looks at an infant, a two-dimensional image of, presumably, a new family member she has not met, encapsulates the feelings of removal and longing that are all too familiar for those who love across distances.
In her own words:
"It’s an attempt at intersecting the parallels. Projected and captured light is a poor substitute for physical presence. But it is the only way for me to express my confusion of belonging. As I reflect on the unique and difficult path my life has taken, this series delves into the definition of home and the complexity of identity."
Thanks to Slate Magazine.